Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • EU leaders meet in Brussels to seek a response to Russia

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF stands behind Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' against IS militants in Syria

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass three million, UN says

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

Reports say coalition troops gathering on Pakistani border

Latest update : 2008-07-17

Speculation is rife that coalition forces in Afghanistan may be planning strikes against militant hideouts in Pakistan’s North-Western Frontier Provinces or the North Waziristan region. NATO, meanwhile, has denied the reports.

Speculation is rife that coalition forces in Afghanistan may be planning strikes against militant hideouts in Pakistan’s North-Western Frontier Provinces or the North Waziristan region.

“Residents close to the border say that deployment of NATO and Afghan troops has increased along the Pakistani border,” Javed Aziz Khan, a Pakistani journalist based in Peshawar (for news daily The News) told FRANCE 24 in a telephone interview. “Residents have seen military planes flying and it could be that coalition forces are trying to cross into the Pakistani border.”

The journalist’s comments confirm reports in the Pakistani press and in the British newspaper The Times, according to which hundreds of NATO troops were airlifted on Tuesday across the mountains from the Pakistani village of Lowara Mandi, an important base for cross-border attacks in Afghanistan. Heavy artillery and armoured vehicles were also being moved into position, the newspaper reported.

Pakistani tribal elders raised the alarm this week over what they said was a build-up of hundreds of NATO-led troops on the Afghan side of the border.

NATO has denied the reports but has urged Islamabad to do more to stop Taliban militants taking refuge in their country. “It’s rubbish and there is no military build-up against Pakistan,” Mark Laity, NATO’s spokesperson in Afghanistan told FRANCE 24, in reference to media reports.


Pakistani army officials too played down the rumours, calling the movement of troops on the Afghan side routine. The US military in Afghanistan told FRANCE24 that they could not comment “for the moment”.
 
Blame game

Afghanistan and India, along with the US, accuse Pakistan’s shadowy Inter-Services Intelligence, or the ISI, of sheltering ousted Taliban leaders and Islamists in the north-western provinces of Pakistan.

Pakistan’s former ISI chief, retired Lt.General Hameed Gul, calls the accusations “baseless and just ‘an exterior manoeuvre’ - a way to soften the target and prepare for an attack on Pakistan’s tribal zones.”

“The US and its allies in the region (Afghanistan and India) want to project Pakistan as a rogue state because they are convinced that they need to strike Pakistan to put an end to terror,” Gul told FRANCE 24. “Our country’s economic and political situation is in turmoil and these countries feel it’s unsafe for us to possess a nuclear weapon.”

 

Insurgents holed up in Pakistan

 

There has been a sharp rise in cross-border attacks in eastern Afghanistan by insurgents coming from Pakistan, according to Afghan and NATO officials. They blame the de-facto ceasefires between the Pakistani military and militants in its lawless tribal belt.

 

On Wednesday, NATO forces in Afghanistan hit targets in North Waziristan with artillery and attack helicopters after coming under rocket fire from across the border, the alliance said in a statement.

 

Troops from NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) "received multiple rocket attacks from militants inside Pakistan, July 15," the alliance said in a statement. "The troops identified a (compound) as the point of origin of the attacks and responded in self-defence with a combination of fire from attack helicopters and artillery into Pakistan."

 

US troops pulled out of a remote outpost in northeastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, three days after Taliban militants killed nine US soldiers, the biggest single loss of life for US forces in Afghanistan since 2005.

Date created : 2008-07-17

COMMENT(S)